Personal Review: June 2017

Personal Review: June 2017

Hey guys, remember me? My name’s Joe, I’m 28, and I’ve got epilepsy.

I’ve been kind of quiet this month, haven’t I? Well, the first twenty days of it felt pretty foxy, but I think my family and friends will be happy to hear that right now, I feel like I’m bouncing back. In fact, I feel better than I did at any time during May. Uncommon epilepsy-related events have recently taken place, but as June’s coming to a close, I really feel like my life’s been led on to something pretty positive as a whole.

 Trickier Times with Epilepsy

Now, I don’t want to talk too much about the first ten days of June. Why? Well, they were pretty damn boring. It all started on May 31st – I had a severe epileptic seizure while I was asleep; I was taken via ambulance to Wythenshawe hospital; I got a CT Scan done about a month in advance; and I started to subject to what could have been a million blood pressure tests. I then sat in Wythenshawe hospital for eleven days, more drugged-up than usual and knew I wasn’t allowed to leave unless 48 hours passed without me having another seizure.

A CT Scan – done early, it was one of the benefits from my hospital appearance

It took a while, but eventually my brain kept itself steady and I was told I could leave. The nurse’s there were all friendly, got to know me a bit during my longer-than-usual stay, and helped me out whenever required. They understood why I wanted to go, and wished me all the best when I finally had my chance.

Unfortunately, when I got back home, I didn’t feel like myself. As mentioned earlier, I was more ‘drugged-up’ during my time in the hospital, and an increase in anti-epileptic drugs led to a lot of side-effects getting worse. Fatigue and memory loss have troubled me for years now, and this meant I was even more tired and forgetful than usual. As well as that, I just couldn’t think of articles to write, and didn’t have the confidence to try and write them either.

Generally, I just felt pretty weird.

But Then…

Well, those twenty days have passed by… And I feel so much better! All in all, it comes down to one quick conversation I had with a hospital pharmacist.

At that time, I was on 175 mg of lamotrigine, an anti-epileptic drug, twice a day. This had been increased from the regular dose of 150 mg I was taking beforehand, twice a day.

However, the pharmacist told me to decrease the lamotrigine down from 175 mg to 100 mg twice a day. Apparently, this is a little ‘more sensible’ after adding sodium valproate, another AED that was added to the list of my daily medication.

Lamotrigine box

Hallelujah! I’ve wanted to try and reduce my dose of lamotrigine for a few years now. The thing is, when it comes down to preventing my epileptic seizures, it’s clearly effective. But the side-effects it causes? Well, as you now know, memory loss and fatigue really aren’t too appealing.

Although it’s fair to say that my memory is still terrible and fatigue is an issue, personal improvements have started to transpire. I think I’m reading quicker and have started to lose weight. I really want to improve my writing skills and get this blog going. Typically speaking, I’m just feeling more confident as a whole.

To keep any seizures from coming up, I’ve got a little stricter with myself as well. I’ve started to take my medication every 12 hours, at 9 o’clock, on the dot.

I’ve also stopped drinking a lot of alcohol, which was undoubtedly a seizure trigger, and only occasionally have one or two drinks. Although it feels a little different when I’m out with friends, I’m still having great fun and would say I’m as social as ever before. And the benefits? Well, I don’t think hangovers work well with many people – I really wasn’t a fan. Plus, if I’m meeting you for the first time, without a doubt, it’s a lot more likely that I’ll manage to memorise your name.

Positive People: Family & Friends

About two-thirds of June actually showed duller times in my life. But positivity? Well, it was still coming along and helping me out. When I wasn’t myself and struggling to chat with others, members of my family came into the hospital to show me support and wish me well.

A lot of credit goes to my mum, dad, Auntie Carole, cousin Vicky, her husband Jason, cousin Jamie and his girlfriend Ella. As well as that, Vicky and Jason’s daughters are called Millie and Evie and still so young. Nevertheless, five-year-old Millie still managed to craft me a ‘Get Well Soon’ card – This was very much appreciated.

Millie Thubert’s lovely piece of art

I know a lot of my family and friends have joined the club that obviously cares about me. So many of them wished me well when I was feeling down, and so often smiles tend come forward when I meet up with any person I’m close to.

Conclusion

So why weren’t any articles written in June? I guess my brain just wasn’t working properly.

But what about July? As I said, I’m feeling pretty positive about the stuff that’s coming. A more sensible game’s going to be played with my epilepsy, and hopefully, that means my next trip to a hospital (aside from check-ups and scans) isn’t due for quite some time.

And the blog? It certainly needs to be improved, so a lot more articles and promotion are now due to take place. I want to make sure I find my voice as a writer, become somebody you can trust and recognise, find informative and interesting. I hope you enjoy what I write.

CT Scan by Cara on Flickr

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